Star Wars Episode IX: Lando and the New Resistance Heroes

Lando Calrissian leads the list of new heroes that will be joining the Resistance in Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker!

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker - Lando Calrissian

At the end of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, a besieged General Leia reaches out to old allies for help when the Resistance is backed into a corner. While we still don’t know exactly how much time has passed between Episode VIII and Episode IX, it’s long enough that at least one classic character has reached the team: Lando Calrissian, who makes a stylish entrance in The Rise of Skywalker teaser, zooming through hyperspace on the Millennium Falcon.

Who else has answered Leia’s call against the First Order? Along with Rey, Finn, Poe, and BB-8, here are the characters joining the Resistance in Episode IX as well as a few who might surprise us:

Lando

Naturally, Lando would want to help his old friends from the Battle of Endor. While fans feared that Billy Dee Williams might not appear in the new trilogy at all, Lucasfilm is finally bringing him back for The Rise of Skywalker. In the canon books, Lando commands a Rebel Alliance ship for a while before transitioning into the New Republic and helping Han with a personal mission.

There’s significance to Lando being back on the Millennium Falcon, too. Solo: A Star Wars Story established some of his history with the ship and his connection to the droid co-pilot L3-37, who later became the Falcon’s guiding brain. In Episode IX, he’s back home in his old ship and closer to L3 than he has been for years.

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Further Reading: A Star Wars Reading Guide to Lando Calrissian

Klaud 

This bizarre-looking alien will be joining the Resistance, as revealed by the Episode IX panel at Star Wars Celebration. Klaud was first introduced in a promotional picture next to Snap Wexley (Greg Grunberg). As you can see, Snap isn’t sure about his new comrade.

Klaud follows the Star Wars tradition of bulbous Hutts and tentacles. He looks more like an ambulatory sea urchin than like Jabba, but there’s something similar in the slimy skin and bulk, and his antennae make him look more like a sea creature or bug.

He’s one of many new alien species in the Sequel Trilogy, and will probably provide some quick comedic relief between tense scenes for the Resistance — but he was deemed important enough to show at the premiere of the teaser trailer, so expect to see him somewhere in the background of a key scene. 

Jannah

Newcomer Naomi Ackie (Doctor Who) plays Jannah in Episode IX. Virtually nothing is known about the character except that she’ll cross paths with Rey, Poe, and Finn. Judging from the first promotional still released at Celebration, it seems like Jannah lives on the planet where the heroes go to find the Death Star ruins. Does Jannah guide them there or is her role much bigger than that? 

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D-0

Little D-0 is the latest droid joining the Resistance effort. He is being pitched as comedic relief in Episode IX, a sidekick to BB-8. We’re not sure what tricks this droid has in its circuits just yet, but his uniwheel design is adorable. 

Maz Kanata 

Maz Kanata’s small cameo in The Last Jedi continued the character’s story without giving her major part in the story. Her “union dispute” showed the cantina keeper taking action, as also provided key information to Finn and Poe about the galaxy’s seedy underworld.

With the main trio on an adventure together in Episode IX, Maz might decide it’s time to take a more personal stance on helping Leia. Now that Forces of Destiny has aired on YouTube, we know that Maz Kanata also helped Leia acquire the bounty hunter armor she used to sneak into Jabba’s Palace. It seems likely she would come through for her friend once again for a final battle with the First Order. 

Further Reading: Why Star Wars Episode IX Shouldn’t Change Rey’s Origin

Mon Mothma 

Mon Mothma’s during the Sequel Trilogy is uncertain. No longer the Chancellor of the New Republic, she may or may not have been on Hosnian Prime when it was destroyed by Starkiller Base, which would be a sad end for this freedom fighter.

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There are also some canon reasons why she might not want to help Leia: she did not approve of the militarization of the New Republic and clashed with Leia’s belief that the new galactic government would need to protect itself. After all, one of Mothma’s key political initiatives was the disarmament of the Republic.

The Resistance was Leia’s splinter group, created to protect the galaxy from the First Order when the Republic failed to do so. Were these two leaders to reunite in Episode IX, Mon Mothma would probably need to apologize in order to be permitted back into the ranks. If she was, Mothma would provide valuable political experience. 

Although Mothma has a key role in the development of the New Republic, she has hardly been more than a cameo in the films, taking charge in the Original Trilogy and appearing again in a scene which was deleted from Revenge of the Sith as well as in several scenes in Rogue One. Bringing her back one last time in Episode IX might be a proper way to send off the character.

The Rebels Crew 

Now we’re going to get a bit more speculative. The following are less likely to appear in the films but have popped up in Star Wars canon since The Last Jedi aired. And there is a precedent for brief crossovers between the animated shows and the films: the Ghost starship from Star Wars Rebels and an intercom call for Hera Syndulla tied Rogue One to the four-season Disney XD show, after all.

Rebels has quite a few loose ends. Fan-favorite Ahsoka Tano and Sabine Wren went searching for young Jedi Ezra Bridger some time circa A New Hope, and it’s possible that these Rebels are still in the fight. Ezra and Leia have also worked together before, so the Jedi would definitely count as one of Leia’s old friends.

We know that Hera Syndulla continued to fight with the Rebel Alliance and then transitioned into the New Republic as a general. We’ll actually be reunited with her in Alexander Freed’s upcoming novel, Alphabet Squadron. In the novel, Syndulla is the commander in charge of the titular squadron, and perhaps we’ll get some hints about how she feels about the Resistance in the days before the war against the First Order. 

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If they were to appear in Episode IX, it would most likely be as indirect references rather than actors cast as the animated originals, but if the canon decides to go this way in the films or elsewhere, both have wartime skills that could make a difference against the First Order. 

Further Reading: 10 Facts You Need to Know About Darth Maul

Kazuda Xiono 

Star Wars Resistance hero Kaz Xiono is equally unlikely to cross from animation to live-action but does reside in the same time period as the Sequel Trilogy. Poe Dameron already knows Kaz, and in fact, only parted ways with the young Resistance spy because Poe was engaged in the Jakku retrieval in The Force Awakens.

It would be relatively easy to include him in a crowd scene because he’s human and doesn’t sport Sabine’s unique Mandalorian armor. And Kaz is an accomplished pilot, with experience in the New Republic military, even if he isn’t a hyper-competent spy. After the losses against the First Order’s flagship in The Last Jedi, competent pilots are exactly what the Resistance needs.

Enfys Nest 

From her reveal in Solo: A Star Wars Story, we know that Enfys is one of the earliest members of the Rebellion. Before its cells shared information about a larger Alliance and perhaps before many of the different Rebellion efforts ever knew one another, Enfys and her Cloud-Riders were pushing back against the Empire. She’s younger than Han, so it’s conceivable that she would still be alive and fighting against the First Order. It’s unlikely, but the Resistance needs all the help it can get.

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Megan Crouse writes about Star Wars and pop culture for StarWars.com, Star Wars Insider, and Den of Geek. Read more of her work here. Find her on Twitter @blogfullofwords.